When things are going well, it’s easy to sit back and stay the course. This is especially true with your sales team. Why rock the boat when you’re sailing smooth? Most managers start pushing if their teams haven’t hit their targets or they see more potential. But shouldn’t effective leaders empower their sales teams in both bad times and good?
Of course, they should. Empowering your team is always the right move. Research confirms that empowering employees provides them with a better work environment where they can perform even better.
Plus, when given the relative freedom to play to their strengths, empowered individuals take on bigger challenges and achieve greater results. They also support other members of the sales team and take better care of customers. Finally, empowered employees trust their leaders more, which leads them to put in more effort without feeling overworked.
Effective ways to empower your sales team
Empowering your field sales team means giving them everything they need to succeed. This enhances their ability to perform autonomously and make the best decisions, especially while out in the field.
Consider this: every sales manager knows the best time to close the deal is when a sales representative is with a client. If your sales rep doesn’t have the power to negotiate, deals are delayed. The same goes for not having access to key information the client needs to make a decision.
Don’t let clients walk away. Here are five ways to empower your field sales team:
1. Provide them with the right tools and software
Today’s sales efforts depend less on the sales representative’s charm and more on the information they carry with them. Having the right tools and software ensures even the remotest sales rep can still access what’s needed to close the deal. Ideally, they should have cloud-based productivity tools that allow them to communicate and collaborate with the rest of the team.
A well-stocked tool chest also includes sales management software and customer relationship management (CRM) software. However, both solutions should integrate well with the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. This ensures your sales reps can still process transactions when they’re out in the field. In addition, they’ll be able to give clients real-time data on product information, and order or delivery status updates.
2. Offer feedback and provide rewards
Promoting a culture of feedback helps your sales team to get valuable input that can improve their performance. For sales managers, feedback is a great way to jump-start a coaching session that can help your team members get over the hump. At the same time, recognize and reward outstanding performance to positively reinforce this type of behaviour, ensuring the sales team will continue striving for rewards.
You can deliver two kinds of feedback to your staff regarding their performance. The first is positive feedback, which highlights the things they got right and should continue doing right. The second is constructive feedback, which points out how they can improve their performance in areas that need more effort. By sharing both types of feedback, managers can reinforce good practices and provide coaching advice on areas that need further improvement.
Feedback is also better when given both ways. Managers who give the best feedback are often the same ones who appreciate feedback from their subordinates. If nothing else, it sets an example that everyone follows. If their boss can take instructions and criticism, then employees should have no problem with feedback as well.
3. Arm them with the correct insights
Analytics play an essential role in gathering insights into how a customer’s mind behaves. Artificial intelligence and machine learning draw patterns from previous customer records to spot trends and establish certain behaviours. Share these insights with your sales team to empower them to learn more about their customers.
In addition, share data on how salespeople work to help them improve their performance. Sales managers with access to their team’s logs and activities can view work patterns and suggest more efficient ways to perform day-to-day tasks. For example, reps might centralize their administrative tasks in one period instead of spreading them out across the week to reduce time spent on clerical work. This means more time prospecting or calling on clients.
4. Give consistent training to help upgrade their skill set
Jobs are always evolving to include a more efficient process. This is why skills training is a valuable benefit for companies to offer. However, training for the sake of training is often counterproductive. For example, salespeople forget 80% of their training within the next three months. So, it’s not just the training that’s important, but also the relevance of the subject matter and the manner of instruction.
For sales, in particular, learning isn’t just about product knowledge. A good part of a sales team’s training budget goes to aligning the sales strategy with the customer’s journey. In addition, skills that can enhance a rep’s ability to engage with clients are also good to have.
5. Coach them personally
Provide a personal touch to each of your salespeople to give your team a much-needed boost. When sales representatives get regular time with the boss, it makes them feel more connected to the team. Managers who allot a sizable part of their schedules to personally look after their team members will see increases in performance and loyalty.
In contrast, if managers only schedule meetings when sales are down, or work isn’t getting done, employees won’t be inspired to try harder. These employees will come to associate the manager’s presence with the threat of being fired if things don’t improve. This doesn’t instill confidence in the manager’s ability to lead people.
Empower your sales team with the right software
Empowerment is all about positioning your sales team to achieve the most success. With a combination of the right tools, the right motivation, and the right coaching, sales team members will feel empowered to perform to the best of their abilities.
Skynamo is the sales field software that helps empowered sales reps perform their best out in the field. With its cloud features, Skynamo allows agents to continue processing orders no matter where they are. The app ensures they receive updates on crucial data such as item price and availability, as well as order and delivery status. Managers will also love Skynamo’s sales management features, which allow them to track and monitor sales activities so they can provide help where it’s needed.
Learn more about how Skynamo can empower your sales team. Let’s chat about your company’s specific needs, and we’ll set up a demo just for you.